Articles by Drew Conway

In Search of Power-laws: WikiLeaks Edition

August 26, 2010 | Drew Conway

Yesterday, a commenter reminded me of the very popular hobby among scientists of searching for power-law distributions in large event data. While the commonality of scale invariance in event data is quite well known—particularly with respect to conflict data—this has not prevented many researchers from seeking and finding ... [Read more...]

Leveraging the Wisdom of Crowds for Fantasy Football

August 23, 2010 | Drew Conway

WARNING: This has nothing to do with national security, but is nonetheless awesome. This evening I will be participating in that great annual tradition which marks the transition from Summer to Fall: the fantasy football draft. A large part of having a successful fantasy football draft is being able to ... [Read more...]

Benford’s Law Tests for Wikileaks Data

August 1, 2010 | Drew Conway

In my first post on the WL Afghanistan data I provided a very high-level view of the data, and found that it generally met expectations for frequency given its context and presumed data generating process. Next, I will look a bit deeper at this process and test if the observed ...
[Read more...]

Local R User Group Panel from useR! 2010 (Video)

July 24, 2010 | Drew Conway

As I mentioned last week, I will be hosting videos of several of the keynote speakers from this year’s useR! 2010 conference at the video Rchive. As it happens, the first video I was able to upload was the panel discussion we held on starting local R user groups. I ... [Read more...]

userR! 2010 Videos to be Hosted at Rchive

July 20, 2010 | Drew Conway

Today, I am packing up the car and heading south to my old home, Washington, DC, for the useR! 2010 conference, which is being held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Incidentally, where I was an intern in the Information Technology Lab during college. If you are not able ... [Read more...]

Anatomy of a Life-Milestone Announcement on Facebook

July 15, 2010 | Drew Conway

As I have mentioned, I recently returned for a lovely trip to Europe. While on vacation my brilliant, beautiful, funny, and all around perfect girlfriend accepted my invitation to be my wife. Pause for shared overwhelming feeling of joy… While I am still basking in the glow of being the ...
[Read more...]

The Next Big Thing: SAS and SPSS!…wait, what?

April 15, 2010 | Drew Conway

Thanks to the R Bloggers aggregator I came across Yihui Xie’s post on a piece currently making the rounds about statistical analysis platforms. In The Next Big Thing, AnnMaria De Mars makes the argument that R—as a statistical computing platform—is not well suited for what she views ... [Read more...]

Lots of new Videos in Rchive

April 14, 2010 | Drew Conway

I have just uploaded a bunch of new videos the Rchive (yea, that’s what I am calling it now). Most of the videos are from the April NYC meetup, which include the following talks: Pankaj Chopra—using R and Bioconductor ( for biomarker detection in cancer ... [Read more...]

Seamless R Extensions using Rcpp and RInside

April 7, 2010 | Drew Conway

I just added a new video to the R repository, and this one comes from the Los Angeles R Meetup. The folks in LA were fortunate enough to have Dirk Eddelbuettel—renowned R expert and StackOverflow super-user—discuss his joint work with Romain François for interfacing C++ and R ... [Read more...]

How to Produce Fake Data Analysis in R: 3 Easy Steps

April 2, 2010 | Drew Conway

Did you really think that a team of researchers spent their weekends counting the number of shirtless adolescent men and exposed penises they could find on Perhaps you should not answer that, as it may be a better measure of your opinion of sociologist than gullibility. It is ... [Read more...]

How Misinformed are Tea Party Protesters About Tax Policy?

March 25, 2010 | Drew Conway

For those of you used to reading about international relations, I apologize for the following brief foray into American politics. It appears that the American Enterprise Institute and David Frum have decided to (abruptly) part ways. Before David left, however, he and his team of interns provided some interesting statistical ... [Read more...]

Happy Anniversary NYC R Meetup

March 12, 2010 | Drew Conway

Today is the one year anniversary of the NYC R Statistical Meetup. Starting as a small group meeting in a crowded conference room, Josh Reich established the meetup as the premiere gathering of data geeks in the tri-state area. Over the past year we have had 10 meetups, and two more ... [Read more...]

Spatial Analytics in R Video

February 8, 2010 | Drew Conway

The video from John Myles White’s outstanding introductory talk on spatial analysis with R to the NYC R Statistical Meetup is now available in the R video repository, and is also embedded after the jump. I would like to thank John for this fantastic talk, and for those interested ... [Read more...]

Donate to the R Video Hosting Fund

January 17, 2010 | Drew Conway

Today I finished uploading a couple new talks to the growing repository of online presentations from the NYC R Statistical Meetup. Going forward, my plan is—whenever possible—to make all talks and presentation materials available online, in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible. Our volunteer ... [Read more...]
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